PM for top priority to health, education

Patan Hospital to run medical college

Lalitpur, November 7:

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala today said health and education sectors are the life-blood of a nation and they should get top priority in development agenda.

Speaking at a function organised to mark the Silver Jubilee of Patan Hospital, Koirala said a nation could make progress only if it makes due investment in these sectors.

He expressed shock at the minimal allotment of government budget for the Patan Hospital. The government this year had allotted Rs 1.6 million while the annual budget of the hospital is Rs 270 million. “I am embarrassed by the fact that the government budget for the hospital is that low,” Koirala said. He commended the service provided by the hospital staff.

Koirala expressed commitment to take initiatives to increase the government grant to the hospital from the next year.

Dr Rajesh Gogal, the medical director of the hospital, shed light on various services of the hospital.

The PM hailed the initiative of the hospital to start a medical college within the hospital premises. He promised government support to run the college. The hospital plans to run the college from the next year.

Hospital officials said the college will admit students from rural areas who commit to work in the remote areas for at least three years after getting the degree.

Minister for Health and Population, Giriraj Mani Pokharel said the college should also admit students from the downtrodden communities.

State Minister for Health and Population, Shashi Shrestha, said other hospital should learn a lesson from the Patan Hospital. “It is the only hospital I know where patients never die just because of not having money to pay the hospital bills,” she said.

On the occasion, the PM felicitated chairman of Friends of Patan Hospital (FoPH) Dr Jim Hecht, BK Shrestha, and Jim and Marilyn Simons. The Simons duo had contributed Rs 220 million for the construction of the maternity building in the hospital while Shrestha had provided Rs 10 million.